Where to from here?
By Dean Honeycutt
Have you ever arrived at a place and then said where do we go from here? That is the way I feel coming through this pandemic. We are getting to the place where we are looking for direction. I for one do not like waiting around. I like to know what I am doing and where I am going, and how to get there.
Shutdowns, mask mandates, and fear have thrown the church into a tailspin. I have discussed the frustrations with pastors who struggle with making plans and moving forward. Churches were considered non-essential during the initial stages of the pandemic. And this mindset has caused a lot of people to avoid returning to church and has lowered the importance of faithfulness and commitment to the local church.
The following scriptures teach us that fear does not come from God, and that gathering with Christians in a worship service is expected. 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV 1900) 7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Hebrews 10:25 (KJV 1900)
25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Church attendance is necessary and expected of all believers and is never an option. The bottom line is people avoid church because they do not have a deep devotion to Jesus Christ. A study of the early New Testament church demonstrates a Christian’s devotion to the local church despite an imminent possibility of persecution. The book of Acts describes great persecution against the church and the martyrdom of believers, yet the church continued to meet and spread the Gospel.
For a few months, I have been struggling with direction and what to do next. I grow tired of the confusion surrounding all the mandates and COVID restrictions. I felt like I was always pumping the brakes on ministry. So, I began to talk to the Lord about what to do. At first, I thought the answer to my concerns was something physical in nature. I needed more of something that I did not have. I could not put my finger on what more I needed, I just knew something needed to change. So, I spent several weeks praying about what I needed more of and the direction I needed to take.
On a Wednesday night just before I went to bed I was speaking with the Lord and He said, “you need more of me.” In other words, I need to spend more time with Jesus. I need to concentrate on my relationship with Jesus Christ. This really makes sense to me now because when my focus is on Christ then my direction on where to go will always involve Jesus.
The disciples after the crucifixion must have felt like this as well. They must have thought where do we go from here? Jesus is not with us they have crucified Him, and He is in the grave. Having seen Jesus after the resurrection the disciples take on an entirely distinct perspective. They now have great purpose, resolve, and direction for life. And this purpose and direction would never change for these followers of Christ. The disciples would wholeheartedly pursue the establishment of the New Testament Church and the preaching of the Gospel.
This pandemic and the birth pains we have been experiencing have not changed God’s plan and direction for the Church. Our Mission and mandate have not changed. Matthew 28:19–20 (KJV 1900) 19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
My marching orders have not changed. In this world, we are going to have trials and challenges, but our instructions have not changed. Our mission and mandate are still the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven is my destination and telling others about Jesus is my job while I am on my journey.
Problems in this world can cause my purpose and direction to be obscure. But one thing is for certain God has not changed His purpose is clear and His direction is certain. My job is to follow Him faithfully in all circumstances.
Blessings to your family,
Pastor Dean Honeycutt.
Pastor Dean Honeycutt shepherds Snow Hill Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. He may be reached at 828-385-0213, email@example.com, or visit their website at www.snowhillbaptist.com.
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